People who are not prepared to go beyond their boundaries may never know their limits. The zone and the comfort zone are not the same thing. Being able to get into the zone in any situation, anywhere, takes practice.
One thing guaranteed to add leaps of progress on our creative endeavour is regularly stepping out of our comfort zone – the dreaded move toward making ourselves vulnerable to criticism and failure. Not once in the blue moon, but daily. Creating a habit to do it only once a day will do more to our confidence and ability to perform and handle criticism than studying and practicing in seclusion for hours. In the end, whatever we do, we do it to share it with others. Real life doesn’t happen in the practice room. Already setting the intention towards making that step outside of the safe zone provides a boost of courage and gives us a little less serious perspective towards its outcome. It prepares us for the uneasiness making it easier to endure.
It may be as simple as expressing an opinion or disagreeing with somebody. Saying no is often beyond people’s comfort zone. Whatever puts you up for your inner censor’s scrutiny is a good choice. Sharing your work, your thoughts, fears and passions. The highs and lows. Things that you personally don’t see as the best side of yours, although it may be the most authentic. The feeling of freedom is what we’re after.
Again, consistency is the name of the game. Doing it once in the blue moon isn’t gonna cut it. We’re talking about developing a habit here. Don’t set out expectations. Don’t be too serious about the outcome. Let the very act of courage be the reward itself. Be ready to apologise if you cause trouble, but not for trying.
Just remember, it demands a lot of energy, that’s why we don’t often do it in the first place. Don’t stretch yourself too much, it’s a practice. It will, however, go a long way towards having bolder and richer creative life.